Shares of TJX Companies slipped 0.7% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the discount apparel and home fashions retailer's downbeat profit outlook offset better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter results and increasing capital returns to shareholders. For the quarter Jan. 31, earnings rose to $648.2 million, or 93 cents a share, from $582.3 million, or 81 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, beating the FactSet consensus analyst per-share estimate of 90 cents. Revenue rose 6% to $8.3 billion, with same-store sales increasing 4%, compared with FactSet consensus estimates of $8.26 billion and 2.4%, respectively. For the current fiscal year, TJX expects first-quarter earnings per share of 64 cents to 66 cents and full-year earnings of $3.17 to $3.25, below FactSet consensus estimates of 72 cents and $3.50, respectively. The company raised its quarterly dividend by 20% to 21 cents a share, and approved a new $2 billion share repurchase program. TJX expects to buy back $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion in the current year, or about $100 million to $200 million more than it repurchased last year. The stock has gained 5% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has advanced 2.3%.
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